In Flames - A Sense Of Purpose
1 April 2008

01. The Mirror's Truth
02. Disconnected
03. Sleepless Again
04. Alias
05. I'm The Highway
06. Delight And Angers
07. Move Through Me
08. The Chosen Pessimist
09. Sober And Irrelevant
10. Condemned
11. Drenched In Fear
12. March To The Shore
13. Eraser [bonus]
14. Tilt [bonus]
15. Abnegation [bonus]

Over the past few years In Flames have been wandering down questionable paths as far as long-time fans are concerned, some abandoned the band completely and the others decided that the new In Flames isn't really all that bad after all, and stuck with them. "A Sense Of Purpose" is a shockingly low blow to the second group of people here as In Flames continue to push towards the twelve-year-old, black dyed fringe bearing individual market - and this time do it in a way that indefinitely is the straw that breaks the camel's back and will not be tolerated by long-running fans.

One month ago "The Mirror's Truth" EP although brandishing a very Korn-esque cover, showed a promising outlook with four heavier, faster and generally better songs. This however has shown to provoke false hope of a good album from the band. Song "The Mirror's Truth" kicks off the album in mediocre form and for about the first minute into "Disconnected" we have that higher tempo and intensity that is frankly one of the only things In Flames do well these days, but just as the once loyal fans of the band will after hearing this, the tempo and attraction the band had runs to the hills to never be seen again.

"I'm The Highway" has a slight kick in it, but generally "A Sense Of Purpose" is an album laden with mediocrity and annoyance. Guitar riffs sound as uninspired as uninspired gets, usually plodding along at some mind-numbingly dull tempo. Anders' vocals are as unique and distinguishable as they always have been, just with an extra edge of whine and angsty teenager thrown in there - lyrics fit the vocal style used, but that is like saying excrement is fitting for a toilet when the audience are hoping for an album of quality, intense modern metal. Both most laughable and representative of In Flames' direction is "The Chosen Pessimist" with its pretentious title, long duration, lyrics that are supposed to be deep and meaningful but come across as plastic and fake, and predictable structure turning up the heaviness towards the end.

So long-time fans will not be impressed with the latest offering of "A Sense Of Purpose", but the direction taken does expose the band even more to the mainstream popular rock and metal scenes. "A Sense Of Purpose" is a very polished album, produced immaculately and sounds very professional - it will be certain to pick up more followers but from a different area to before. Most tracks have melodies running throughout, there is no doubting that In Flames have that charm a band needs in order to acquire a vast following.

With an album of anguish and inner struggles "A Sense Of Purpose" takes on further the direction the band were already taking but just to an extra degree. It has what it takes to become a popular hit among the fringe-wearing community, but for the people who like their metal hard, fast, loud and real, this one is best avoided.

Band profile: In Flames
Album: A Sense Of Purpose


Written on 26.03.2008 by
Baz Anderson
Member of Staff since 2006.
More reviews by Baz Anderson ››

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DJCynic - 10.08.2008 at 21:19  
yeah i'm really disapointed about this album.I thought it would be nice but no
konstans - 14.08.2008 at 06:57  
I'm not not a musician I'm not here to play smurt or anything else I am 44 years old and Metal music it's my passion and doesn't mean I did not listen anything else I grow up with Led Zeppelin Pink Floyd deep purple and own and own but for the last 10 years that was the first time I discover metal finally this it was the end from every other type of music if you seem on the street not you going to be able to tell that I listened metal specially black death because this is my favorite i have more and 1000 CD plus over 200 DVD what I'm trying to say I have some experience to see something so but in the market I don't think a sense of purpose if so but I don't think four points is that I'd place to be 7 maybe 8 actually I believe this one is a hundred times better from the previous cd I don't even remember the name but I listen to it and I never bother this is my opinion
devildriver86 - 26.08.2008 at 19:05  
Personally its probably the worst CD that In Flames has put out so far, this band brought me into the metal world, so I have all of their CD's except for this one, I listened to a few of the songs and just refuse to go get the CD it just doesn't seem the same. Before In Flames left RRR you could see the slight down fall in the way they played their music, but when they joined Nuclear Blast just seemed like they hit rock bottom, and now they are trying to bring themsevles back up. At the rate they are going this isn't going to happen very soon, I think Baz did a good review on this album and i agree with his rating of 4.5, but then again this could be due to the fact that I'm used to the old In Flames (Pre Colony)
Mr. Doctor - 12.11.2008 at 20:50  
Written by Lucas on 27.03.2008 at 00:38

Just managed to get through half of the new album on MySpace. And damn, this is so ridiculously bad. Sure, people may like it, but fuck that. I think it's horrible.

Almost the same thing happened to me today. I went to the librery and they had some cds to borrow. And they had this one and I said to myself: "Meh... let's try this and see if it's as bad as some pleople think it is"

And I really really like the opening. it's a nice beginning, a little cheesy on the chorus but good anyway.
But when I was in the half of the album I was like "O man... this is just waaaaaaaaaaaaay to cheesy"

I wasn't reading the lyrics, but when I heard a line in the chorus, something like "I feel like shit, but at least I feel something"

At that point I just throw the cd-player and said: "Fuck this,... It's to much. Gotta listen Hjarnidaudi's myspace instead "
Entropic Silence - 19.11.2008 at 23:49  
I don't think this album is quite as rancid as everyone seems to think, but i agree its not very good. I like the fact that the acoustic interludes are back, and some of the riffs (Move through me) are quite cool, they just sound pussy due to the snivellingly weak guitar sound that this album has. Basically, this is an ok album, apart from the shit guitar sound, questionable songwriting, flat sounding drums, and the fact that Gelotte has ditched his mo. Why would he ruin that beard?
Luciferion - 26.11.2008 at 19:33  
So many people against it, I don't get it. After come clarity this was the clear direction they we're headed. Obviously it can't stand up to older in flames like jester, but in regards to teh new direction and sound they are going with I think they did a good job. Even if the album has a solid start and slowly looses momentum over the course, stilla solid release IMO.
2112 - 08.12.2008 at 23:31  
Come clarity is sooo much better then this cd. they have some good riffs and parts in the songs but thats about it.
maconsid - 23.12.2008 at 16:02  
Had this album quite a while and I've liked all albums up to this point (more or less!). This is a serious step-down in quality. I listen to music across the metal spectrum and don't get too excited when a band "mellows" or brings in non-metal influences. I had hoped this new direction would grow on me. it hasn't. This album has some strong points. Its all relative though. Relative to In Flames back catalogue, this is poor, relative 80% of metal out there this is good album. Drop the chosen pessimist and roughen up the production a bit and it would've been a very good album.

4.5 - Harsh man, harsh.
ioannisk - 25.01.2009 at 13:30  
Sooooo true. damn, i was expecting for sthing much better...
Daggon - 09.02.2009 at 07:12  
Definitely I can't listen to the whole album without falling asleep, this is boring and uninspired just as Metallica's "St. Anger" this is a really bad album.
DarkMoor99 - 13.03.2009 at 12:55  
Am I the only one who LOVES this album? It seems so.
Slayer666 - 18.03.2009 at 14:15  
This certanly isn't as good as the old stuff, but doesn't actually deserve a 4.5.... Maybe a 6.5 - 7?
devouredbymetal - 20.03.2009 at 17:35  
This album's not worth mentioning one bit.....crappy album....over produced...forgot who they really are and made some half-poppish album
T_s_T - 01.04.2009 at 00:39  
It just doesn't get to me how deaf can some people get just to fit into the "true" stereotype!!!It's true that along with Clayman the group has underwent some changes,but that is called "evolvig" and
"progress" - Anders and co. are trying to break all the boundaries of melodeath as we know it,and are being as innovative as possible.Sure,it's not the Jester Race they're playing all the time and I've come to accept and deeply support that decision of theirs.In Flames have not become a second "boring" and "monotonous" in their albums in my opinion and I'm sure that they will always be that way.But reading all these negative reviews and feedbacks it all just leaves me with one fact out of this whole story - In Flames have become more openminded,but some of their fans haven't!!!
DreadfulYgg - 12.05.2009 at 02:22  
It's better than a 4.5. That is definitely kind of harsh, I agree. I really liked Come Clarity since it was nearly a return to their glorious middle era. So I was very bummed when I heard "A Sense of Purpose". I do think the production really hurts this album, much too underproduced, which is also why I didn't care much for Reroute to Remain. When they have good production, their albums sound good (look at Clayman too). This isn't their worst in my opinion. It has the potential to be good but the production, and a lack of inspiration for the most part, really is a shame. This is likely the last album I will bother getting from them. =/
Uirapuru - 23.05.2009 at 09:37  
Yep.. a horrible album even for new In Flames patterns... ''Condenmed'' is a pretty nice song thou.
Disruptard - 18.06.2009 at 18:50  
Indeed their worst album to date.
However, I am and will always be true to In Flames because they are one of my favorite bands of all time!
Their older stuff, like Clayman (<3), Colony, The Jester Race and Whoracle are their best imo. However I also like Reroute to Remain, and to a certain extent, Soundtrack to your Escape.
Valentin B - 30.06.2009 at 16:53  
I agree the vocals and lyrics on this album are pretty cheesy, but i always see In Flames's lyrics as cheesy and forced "omg my life stinks so much right now".

what i love about In Flames, and this applies also to this album, is the guitar work. the melodies and riffs are still there imo, Delight and Angers has some excellent guitar riffs(as just about any In Flames track i've heard so far).
chrisjoel - 07.07.2009 at 11:26  
They should play in Japan. There they will find hordes of ppl willing to give this album an 8 rating, perhaps even a 10! Seriously though they lost me as a fan with Come Clarity....this album seems to be a paycheck.
Valentin B - 16.08.2009 at 21:40  
Imo the only problem with new In Flames is that their lyrics are getting more and more cheesy and emo. that's all, the guitars are excellently awesome as usual and generally spell hook after hook after melodic hook. In Flames = one of the best guitar-driven bands of them all.
Lachy - 18.08.2009 at 09:25  
Written by Guest on 13.03.2009 at 12:55

Am I the only one who LOVES this album? It seems so.

Na man i enjoyed the album to. But I'm not really a death metal fan the later In Flames albums are an exception. They are most likely moving away from this genre. That's just my thoughts on them though. I haven't listened to them that long so don't take my word on that
lord artan - 05.09.2009 at 11:07  
I love this album very good album The Mirror's Truth and Delight And Angers very good song
BlankFile - 16.10.2009 at 00:30  
Omg the biggest letdown of 2008. That says it all! This band used to be so damn good...
Solstafir! - 17.10.2009 at 12:43  
It's high time for Flames to produce something worth headbanging to...but I think that they still have some creativity left...the guitar work on this album saves it from it's utterly ridiculous vocals and lyrics...
Keeping my fingers crossed for the next album...
AceTrooper - 16.01.2010 at 17:01  
And it also has one of the best covers.........ever!
Vonpire - 07.05.2010 at 15:36  
This is pure crap, for crappy kids. It's a not good album, so i definitely agree with the review.
Aetherius - 08.08.2010 at 09:33  
Awful album. Good Review! Maybe In Flames will follow the likes of Metallica and Cradle of Filth and other bands who took a freefall and redeem themselves very soon. I am Hoping!
Boxcar Willy - 01.01.2011 at 00:42  
Just opened it before reading all this seems you either love it or hate it... we'll see...
ScnD361 - 30.12.2012 at 19:24  
I listen all the other In Flames' albums (Clayman, The Jester Race, etc etc), and I think this album is good, is some different but I think is very very good. In Flames never disappoint me (well, only the first cd is not that good, personally I think).

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